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Tactical Group Meeting Minutes, 7th September 2022


Doug Eltham, Devon County Council

Charlotte Brown, Devon Climate Emergency

Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency

David Rose, South West Water

Donna Sibley, Torridge and North Devon District Councils

Jacqui Warren , Torbay Council

Alice Gent, Exeter City Council

Andy Seaman, University of Exeter

John Amosford, Public Health Devon

Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon Councils

Lucinda Brook, Plymouth City Council

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council

Jason Ball, Mid Devon District Council

Catherine Causley, East Devon District Council

John Golding, East Devon District Council

Iain Miller, University of Plymouth


Sara Gibbs, Public Health Devon

Emmanuelle Marshall, Plymouth City Council

Alex Gandy, Dartmoor National Park Authority

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council

Louise Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police

Freya Branley, Exeter City Council

Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust

1. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes were AGREED to be a true record of the discussion.  

2. Project Progress Report

2.1 Project Communications

Charlotte provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  No further questions asked.

2.2 Updates from the Net Zero Task Force

Emily provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

Jacqui asked if a template committee report can be available. Adam agreed for Doug to edit and circulate a draft report prepared for South Hams District Council.

ACTION: Doug to circulate template committee report.

The Group AGREED that the press pack should be distribute to Tactical Group members and not communications officers.

ACTION: Emily to distribute the press pack to Tactical Group members.

Catherine asked for a slide deck summarising the process of preparing the Carbon Plan and its contents.

ACTION: Emily to prepare a slide deck and distribute by the 15th September.

2.3 Updates on the Climate Impacts Group

Emily provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

ACTION: Emily to share the draft risk assessment with the Tactical Group. Comments needed by the 12th September.

Jacqui said that Torbay is looking to develop its adaptation work and will wait for the prioritisation of risks to emerge from this regional work to inform the focus of the local work in Torbay.

Lucinda asked whether the Adaptation Plan will be public. Emily confirmed that it will be and that it will sit on the Devon Climate Emergency website. The risk narratives prepared already are available online.

Donna asked if there is an opportunity feed in local issues that may be unique? Emily said the regional plan needs to stay at a strategic level, leaving district or community level plans to handle local issues. However there will be a series of stakeholder workshops during the autumn at which these local issues can be aired in case they are relevant to other areas.

3. Timetable for delivering the new governance arrangements

Emily presented a proposed timetable for introducing the new governance arrangements. This sees the first meetings of the Theme Boards commencing in January 2023.

The Group AGREED this timetable to be presented to the Response Group.

4. Partner Updates

Doug reported that Devon County Council’s financial stability programme is continuing comprising senior officers from each service who are examining every option to save money and climate related initiatives are included.

Donna said that North Devon Council received Low Carbon Skills Funding but that Torridge’s application was unsuccessful. Carbon Literacy Training has been completed and Donna recommends it to other organisations. An e-learning package on climate change from South Gloucestershire council has been rebranded to use locally, which Donna will see if she can share with the Group.

Lucinda said that Plymouth has been looking at alternative approaches to Carbon Literacy Training due to the time commitment it requires. One option is Climate Fresk.

Jacqui reported that Torbay Council is deciding whether to apply for the next phase of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme in September. In the meantime, six corporate building decarbonisation projects are being developed using corporate funding. A Green Fleet Review is underway. The key actions arising from the community Climate Conversations are being collated to incorporate into the next version of the local climate plan. Some senior officers have undertaken the Carbon Literacy Training.

Jason said that a programme of Carbon Literacy Training is being developed for the autumn at Mid Devon. Jason also shared their ‘Net-Zero Housing Assessment Tool’ which received Local Government Association funding and which has been developed with the University of Exeter. The tool will be used by applicants for planning permission, but that only major applications will require a carbon reduction statement. It will accompany a policy statement on climate change and will be the preferred format for collection this information. The tool is demonstrating that operational carbon is generally a small component of lifetime carbon – i.e. embodied carbon in materials is the overwhelming issue.

Will reported that Teignbridge is preparing an application for the next phase of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. A Green Fleet Review is underway.

Appendix 1: Project Progress Report

Period: August to September 2022 

Status Indicator Key:  

🔴 [RED] = Significant issue that requires Response Group intervention;  

🟠 [AMBER] = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;  

🟢 [GREEN] = No issue.  

1. Partnership Update

1.1 General Project Communications 🟢 [GREEN]

1.1.1 Following

Total follower growth remains at around 2%. Newsletter followers are still increasing, and we have just surpassed 3000 newsletter followers.

Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

Cycling campaign in September

  • Collaboration with Active Devon, Travel Devon & Devon CC’s Environment Group to deliver a month-long campaign around cycling this month
  • There will be community rides lead by community cycling groups, development of re-usable assets and opportunities for cycle confidence training.
  • Meetups and events from several community groups will be promoted by DCE throughout September alongside information about how cycling is a great option for eco-friendly travel.

Launching the Devon Carbon Plan

  • The Devon Carbon Plan will be launched and made available to the public via our website on Thursday 15th September.
  • A campaign to launch the plan involves the development of a press pack to be shared with partners and other interested parties, a press release, and social media posts and Q+As.
  • A webinar will also be held soon after the launch.

Challenge-setters for the University of Exeter

  • DCE are acting as one of several challenge-setters for the University of Exeter’s second year Thinktank module.
  • DCE will be presenting to and interacting with the students from September to December. The students will be researching the question, “What is required to enable and encourage young people, including university students, to adopt more net-zero habits and lifestyles?” on behalf of DCE.

Devon-Wide Community Engagement

  • The Community Engagement Sub-Group nominated Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council to bring a proposal back to them to enhance the Community Action Group activity across Devon. This is being picked up again in September after a summer hiatus whilst the focus was on the Carbon Plan.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website.

  • Devon County, Torbay and Teignbridge District councils submit funding bid for new South Devon cycleway
  • Devon County Council develops IT system to reduce emissions from highway maintenance
  • Low Carbon Devon working with range of Devon businesses stepping into the green economy
  • Ruby Country Net-Zero Beef Farming Forum release their final report

2. Net Zero Task Force Updates 🟢 [GREEN] 

Final amendments to the Carbon Plan are complete. The Task Force approved the document at its August meeting and the Response Group gave sign-off on the 25th

The Plan will be published on the website by the 15th September and partners will receive a press pack. Instagram and Twitter Q&A sessions are planned as well as a webinar.

Partners, as well as organisations beyond the partnership, are encouraged to endorse the Plan through their governance arrangements during the autumn.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update 🟢 [GREEN] 

RSK has completed its first draft of the climate risk register and has shared this with the Climate Impacts Group for comment.

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed by January 2023.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. In the meantime, Doug Eltham has developed the climate-related ideas submitted in the application into fuller proposals. Thank you to partners who provide further information for these. The proposals are now being refined and further drafts will be shared this month.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan has been signed off and will be public on the 15th September.

The continuation of the preparation of the Adaptation Plan is now underway.

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